Robert Hardy to reprise Winston Churchill role on stage

Robert Hardy and Helen Mirren Robert Hardy will star opposite Dame Helen Mirren in the new play

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Robert Hardy is to play Winston Churchill for the eighth time in his career opposite Dame Helen Mirren's Queen Elizabeth II in the West End.

Peter Morgan's new play, The Audience, begins at the Gielgud Theatre in February.

It depicts the weekly meetings between the Queen and 12 prime ministers from Churchill to David Cameron.

Haydn Gwynne will play Margaret Thatcher, with Paul Ritter as John Major.

Hardy has previously played Churchill seven times including Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and most recently in Celui Qui A Dit Non in Paris in French.

He played Siegfried Farnon in the television adaptation of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small and is also known for starring in the Harry Potter films as Cornelius Fudge.

Directed by Stephen Daldry, The Audience marks a return to royal duty for Dame Helen who won an Oscar for her lead role in the 2006 film The Queen, also written by Morgan.

The Audience opens on 15 February 2013, and runs to 15 June.

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